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Monday, January 28, 2013

From zero to calves in less than 24 hours.

So we brought Nemo home on Saturday... he's quite unhappy, but eating the hay and he'll settle in soon, I'm sure.  Steve and I were talking about how nice it was to not have to bottle feed him.  Around here, a 3 month old meat steer for $150 is a good buy.  A while back I said "no more bottle calves in January, it's too cold and we have sheep due to lamb". 

However, that's not how life works... And I have this habit of networking (Steve says I talk too much, but it works out for us in relation to livestock, etc). 

Friday evening we stopped at a local place for dinner and bumped into one of Steve's ex-coworkers.  She and her hubby have a local ranch, running Angus and crossbred Angus.  We talked about bottle calves and I gave her my business card.  She said they hadn't had one in years, and usually didn't try to save them.  I figured that would be the last we heard, as she was, um,... a little in her cups? to put it delicately.

At 11:30 am today my cell phone rings (we can use our phones at work within reason.) I didn't recognize the number, but something made me me answer it.  I usually don't.  "Hi Ruth, it's so-and-so, do you still want a calf?  We had a momma walk away from him today and I just don't want to do this...I don't have time.  I have powdered colostrum, but he's very slow and I have a cake order to finish" (she decorates cakes).  I got her slowed down enough to tell her yep, we'd meet her at noon.  She brought the lil' guy into town at noon, we brought him home, showed the oldest daughter how to try to feed him (he's fighting the bottle pretty good, but we've learned that a little at a time goes a long way and when they get hungry, bam, the bottle and the calf are the best of buds.) 

So, the next couple nights we'll be going out to feed before we go to bed, and getting up early to do the same thing... Also, I'll have to clean out the other side of the lean-to, because he can't go down into the field and we have more lambies due...

Oh, the best part?  All they want for him is the cost of the powdered colostrum and a couple of steaks at butcher time... So, hopefully he'll make it, both for the financial part and the fact that I can't stand the thought of losing the guy.  By the way, what happened to the whole "no bottle babies in January"?

End note, half hour after I started this post, Steve went out to try the bottle again and he took a pint with no problem.  Woo hoo...


  1. Oh, I could NOT eat something I bottle-fed! (Who am I kidding? I can't eat ANYthing with a face.)

    1. The pigs don't bother me, but the calves might. EXCEPT we take them to a pasture about 15 miles away drive distance when they are weaned and I don't go see them after that...